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  • GST Stewardship Group minutes 25August 2016

    Meeting details

    Venue: ATO Offices, Level 9 Conference Room 716, 747 Collins Street, Melbourne

    Date: 25 August 2016

    Start: 9.30am Finish: 12.30pm

    Chair: Tim Dyce

    Secretariat: Alison Zeitlhofer, Indirect Tax, contact phone: (02) 6216 1013


    Tim Dyce

    Deputy Commissioner, Indirect Tax, ATO (Co-Chair)

    Kelly Canavan

    Assistant Commissioner, Indirect Tax, ATO

    Gordon Brysland

    Assistant Commissioner, Senior Tax Counsel, ATO

    Kevin O'Rourke

    Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (Co-Chair)

    Chris Plakias

    Head of Tax, GST and Technology Westpac, Member Australian Bankers’ Association

    Ken Fehily

    Principal, Fehily Advisory, Member CPA Australia

    Andrew Howe

    Director, Greenwoods and Freehills Pty Ltd, Member Property Council of Australia

    Bastian Gasser

    The Tax Institute

    Andrew Sommer

    Partner, Clayton Utz, Member Law Council of Australia

    Paul Suppree

    Assistant Director, Corporate Tax Association

    George Nikolaou

    Coles Finance

    Professor Michael Walpole

    Professor and Associate Head of School (Research), School of Taxation & Business Law, University of NSW

    Guest attendees

    Phil Jones

    Assistant Commissioner, Indirect Tax, ATO (by phone for item 2)

    Jo Drum

    Director, Indirect Tax, ATO (in person for item 3)

    Cathie Gee

    Director, Indirect Tax, ATO (by phone for item 5)


    Giles Wilmer

    Director, Commonwealth Taxes Unit, Queensland Treasury

    Agenda summary

    • Welcome
    • Update on Improving the refund process post 5 July 2016 workshop
    • Discussion on Budget measures and impact to GST Administration
    • Update on Division 93
    • Review of ATO's penalty administration
    • Next steps summary and close

    Discussion summary

    Welcome - Kevin O'Rourke

    Tim Dyce opened the meeting.

    Action items from 19 May 2016 were updated.

    Apologies were noted and attendees welcomed. Assistant Commissioners Kelly Canavan and Hoa Wood were acknowledged as representing Assistant Commissioner Paul Southwell and Chief Tax Counsel Gordon Brysland.

    Update on improving the refund process post 5 July 2016 workshop - Phil Jones

    • This item was not minuted
    • Members where thanked for the contributions during the workshop on 5 July 2016. A number of improvements are being explored and implemented as a result. There is more work to occur to help taxpayers understand the general circumstances where refunds are stopped and what information they can supply to speed up the release of the refund.


    Due date:


    A – 25/08/16

    November 2016

    Phil Jones

    The ATO will follow up the suggestion to add additional information onto the website

    Discussion on Budget measures and impact to GST Administration – Christopher Lyon

    This item was not minuted.

    It was concluded that further discussion with forum would be beneficial, which the ATO can help facilitate.

    Update on Division 93 – Hoa Wood

    Hoa Wood provided an update following research undertaken by Gordon Brysland which concluded the four year time limit provisos to allow amendments inconsistency between division 155 and division 93.

    The ATO has been considering the extent to which the view in the paper can be applied in practical situations, and what taxpayers may need to do to protect their rights where there is no way to lodge ‘stop the clock’ notices. This includes further consideration of a broader range of situations where the time limit for claiming input tax credits expires before consideration of an amendment request, private ruling, objection, review or appeal is completed.

    The ATO is considering practical procedures for dealing with such situations. Taxpayers or their advisors will be able to discuss their situation with the ATO. Taxpayers who have not lodged an objection within the prescribed time limits may apply for an extension of time to lodge an objection. Each case will be decided on its merits.

    A legislative fix is preferable however for now we are working on a pragmatic view.


    Due date:


    B – 25/08/16

    Friday 30 September 2016

    Alison Zeitlhofer

    Provide information about the differences between objections and amendments

    Review of ATO’s penalty administration – Cathie Gee

    The ATO in line with its reinvention program, initiated a review of its application of administration penalties as they apply to small business. Following extensive research, the ATO are releasing a consultation paper, ‘A fairer approach to penalties for individuals and small business’ and are seeking feedback from the community.

    The ATO has focused on the ‘failure to take reasonable care’ penalty for false and misleading statements and ‘failure to lodge on time’ penalties for Income Tax Returns and Activity Statements. These penalties represent the largest proportion of penalties applied and the majority are received by small businesses and individuals.

    The ATO wants to reshape its application of penalties to encourage willing participants in the tax system. The new proposal seeks to make it fairer, simpler and more efficient for those who want to do the right thing, while remaining firm on those who choose to do the wrong thing.

    The consultation paper will be available for public comment on Let’s Talk Link

    Next steps summary and close – Tim Dyce

    Agenda items suggested for next meeting include:

    • Infrastructures – 90 minutes workshop
    • Reinvention – 30 minutes Show Me Strategy
    • Tax Practitioner Board – soft launch – how GST Stewardship Group can engage
    • Communication messages on input tax credit estimators

    The next full meeting is scheduled for 10 November 2016 in Sydney.

    The meeting concluded at 12.30.

      Last modified: 17 Oct 2016QC 50325